The characters in New York — Hamilton, Whitman, Fitzgerald, Roosevelt, La Guardia, Moses — are larger-than-life. The setting is mythic. The scope epic. Even the 14-hour running time whistles by like a No. 2 express train. But more than anything else, documentarian Ric Burns’ sprawling history of New York City is goggle-eyed with love — sweet, instructive, and wildly entertaining. For a New Yorker, it was the perfect thing to watch last week: With the vast story of the city laid in front of you, there is no way to conclude anything but that Gotham will rise again.
New York: A Documentary Film